Relativity Space is preparing for the first test launch of its Terran 1 rocket, which is almost entirely 3D printed. The launch should take place in the summer of this year. The first stage of the launch vehicle has already been rolled out to the LC-16 launch pad of the US Air Force base at Cape Canaveral.
Relativity Space is a US aerospace company founded in 2015 that has built the world’s largest metal-printing 3D printer and is printing most of the parts for its Terran 1 rocket. Although a test launch is still to come, the company has already signed a multi-year deal with OneWeb worth $1.2 billion. Yes, this is the same OneWeb whose satellites got stuck on Baikonur after the start of the hot phase of the war in Ukraine.
Terran 1 is a single-use, two-stage, light-class rocket capable of launching 1,479 kg of payload into low Earth orbit. The Terran 1 first stage is equipped with nine Aeon 1 methane-oxygen engines of Relativity Space’s own design, the second stage has one vacuum-optimized AeonVac engine. The first and second stage structures are printed on a Stargate 3D printer from an undisclosed aluminum alloy. 90% of the mass of the Terran 1 launch vehicle is printed. Even the rocket itself has the Printed in the USA logo instead of Manufactured in the USA.
The exact date of the first launch of Terran 1, which is named GLHF (Good Luck, Have Fun) and does not carry a payload, is still unknown. Relativity Space invites those interested to subscribe to its YouTube channel so as not to miss anything interesting .
Currently, 6 more Terran 1 launches are planned by the end of 2022, already with payloads from NASA, Spaceflight, Momentus, and other customers.
And Relativity Space is already developing a mid-range Terran R launch vehicle, which will be equipped with much more powerful Aeon R engines (also in development). It will be able to launch already 20,000 kg of payload into low Earth orbit and will be fully reusable. It is this kind of rocket that should launch OneWeb satellites of the new generation into space. That is, by 2025 Terran R should fly.